1311: Premiership: Is Arjen Robben C
by : Russ Johnson
The English Premiership is currently laced with foreign talents from all over the globe, you just have to look at the current top goalscorers list to work that out. The lone Englishman Andrew Johnson is present in that particular table surrounded by world beaters. In fact, foreign players are very much key contributors to our Saturday afternoons entertainment, but very few make an earth shattering impact.
Eric Cantona stormed onto the scene in the early nineties and helped Manchester United achieve their potential after a 25 year drought. Thierry Henry has been very influential in overseeing Arsenal's recent dominance of English football. And now the latest foreign import to grace the pitches of the land we proudly call home is a young 20 year old Dutchman by the name of Arjen Robben.
It's certainly no miracle that Chelsea's recent goalscoring freedom in the final third coincided with the eagerly awaited introduction of Mr Robben. Having only scored 12 goals in the opening 9 games of the season, it seemed Chelsea's thin front line would someday snap - leaving Jose Mourinho with a headache. But Arjen Robben's debut was to cap a delightful display in a four goal demolition of a very sorry Blackburn Rovers side. Ending any rumours that Chelsea were indeed in the middle of a goal drought.
In a squad of full internationals costing well over the average price tagged to winning the coveted Premiership title, the former PSV winger has shone through immensely, drowning out any questions in the value for money of his now not so expensive transfer fee - hindsight is a wonderful thing! It's no wonder that Manchester United were favourites to secure his signature early in 2004, and not many people would enter into a debate with Alex Ferguson on the positive and negative attributes of any such player.
Chelsea have managed to secure the services of a wonder-kid who might just help Mourinho win the title in his first attempt. Arsenal will have something to say about this of course! But Robben has provided Chelsea with a clear points and form advantage as the two giants go head to head in December. Although Robben will undoubtedly meet his match in either Cole or Lauren, The Gunners recent dip in form will only add to the tension as the atmosphere builds prior to kick-off - along with the press coverage.
Dutch great Marco Van Basten has hailed Robben as potentially one of the best players in the world. And as the flying Dutchman continues in his attempt to follow in the footsteps of other Dutch masters, broadcasting stations near and far will continue to televise this magnificent talent. Maybe one day, budding wingers all over the footballing world will try to perform a 'Robben Turn'?